Paintlounge Toronto

Boozy paint parties more popular than ever in Toronto

There's something happening in Toronto right now, and it's very childish.

More than ever it seems, adults are acting like kids. Whether it's our obsession with the nostalgia brought on by marathon sessions of Stranger Things or running through obstacle courses or playing bubble soccer, the supposed grownups of our city are turning back time and having fun again.

Painting with the added bonus of drinking is one of the most popular social sports in Toronto right now. Places like Paintlounge, Paint Cabin, Pinot's Palette, and one-off events like Paint Nite are bringing art and group activity to beautiful new heights.

But what exactly is happening? Why, for example, does everyone suddenly want to paint and drink right now? There's a paint night happening somewhere in Toronto on any give day of the week at this point.

Kevin Chow, Operations Manager at Paintlounge (they have several locations) believes he knows why. "I think there was something missing in Toronto," he says. "Especially an outlet for people to come in and paint and explore art in a judgement free zone."

Paintlounge hosts paint nights, but also paint parties where, with a special events permit, you and a gang can take over their space, bring all the drinks you want and create something together.

"It's not a competition," Chow says. "We've had people make offers on other people's paintings when they're done, and we've have people going out with each other after meeting at Paint Lounge."

He also believes adults are highly interested in painting (and drinking together, at last!) because it's something many people didn't get to explore when they were younger.

"I'm not artistic, but I like to do art," explains Taylor Poelman, who's tried out a paint party put on by Pain Nite. "My mom says I'm the only kid whose art could not go on the fridge, I'm really not good. So I was excited to see if they can make me paint something nice."

Turns out, she's pretty good. After sitting at an easel with a drink and a brush, she created something fun. Poelman also notes that it would be pretty expensive to get into this on your own. So if you want to explore that little part of your brain that might not have been flexed as a kid, this is your chance. The booze-y part adds a touch a liquid courage.

"It sounds so cliche, but you could connect it to millennials," she says. "Like Pokemon Go, which is based so much on nostalgia, I think there's an element of that. People who are coming into fully fledged adulthood, still want to do things beyond going out to dinner because you can do that all the time.

"Everyone wants to do something new... something people can do that is more than just going to a movie," Poelman continues. "We're all just big kids... [many of us] still live at home so we feel we have the right to do those things again. It's also like, what's wrong with having fun?"

That's where Poelman hits the nail on the head. There's no hard and fast reason people in Toronto are combining liquor and coloured liquids on a canvas, but it can likely be attributed to the search for novelty and fun.

"Maybe in a generation past there's an idea that when you're an adult you don't get to have fun anymore," she says. "Which is total crap."

Photo from the Paintlounge Flickr page.


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